The 7 key fashion pieces to buy when clothes shops reopen on April 12 Leave a comment

Piazza dress, £265, Seraphina; By appointment at 5 Chaldicott Courtyard Tokes Lane Semley SP7 9AW Wiltshire

If you’re anything like me, you already own more than enough dresses… but have you seen this dress? A Seventies-inspired print, smocked bodice, square neckline and romantic puffed sleeves make the Piazza dress one to wear again and again. It’s one of the standouts from Seraphina London’s new spring collection. The five-year-old brand has become an insider’s secret for dreamy dresses, but it’s been online-only until now. Founder Fiona Hodges spent lockdown setting up her first shop in rural Wiltshire. Visitors will find womenswear and girls’ collections and homewear, plus expert advice from Hodges herself.

But back to the Piazza dress: The cotton is heavy enough that you can wear it almost immediately, and the midi length is just right for picnics. (Be mindful of length – too many dresses are long enough to stand around in, but too short to wear while sitting on a blanket.) All in all, it holds the power to transform an average weeknight dinner into a special occasion – although any dinner not cooked at home will seem like a special occasion for some time, surely.

What you need to know

Every shopping question answered before you hit the high street…

Q. Will my shopping experience be different?
A. Yes. As well as mandatory face masks, stores will likely only allow a certain amount of shoppers in at one time to maintain distancing, or, will operate a one-way system. 

Q. Are changing rooms open?
A. Yes, but staff will need to sanitise the fitting rooms between each customer, and stores will likely open fewer rooms to allow for distancing. 

Q. Can I make an online return in-store?
A. The majority of stores will likely allow for this, but be sure to double check their return policy window beforehand. If you’re unsure and are able to, make your returns via post.

Q. Will opening times be affected?
A. To ensure stores are less crowded, retailers will be allowed to open until 10pm from Monday to Saturday, though individual store times will vary. It’s likely those on main high streets and in shopping centres will remain open until 10pm. 

Q. Will there be new stock?
A. Yes – and lots of it. Plus, lots of last summer’s stock has been in ‘hibernation’ while stores were closed, and will now be available. 

Q. Can I go shopping with someone from a different household?
A. Shopping alone or with your own household or support bubble will be required for now. 

For more news, analysis and advice from The Telegraph’s fashion desk, click here to sign up to get our weekly newsletter, straight to your inbox every Friday. Follow our Instagram @Telegraphfashion

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